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How Engaging eLearning Can Reduce Employee Burnout

Updated: Jun 13

A happy employee, using a laptop for eLearning, smiling and holding a pen

Imagine your team members groaning at the mere mention of another eLearning module. 

It's a common scenario where the potential of eLearning is stifled by overly complex and uninspiring content. 

Moreover, organisations with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147% in earnings per share. Interactive eLearning isn't just a perk, but a strategic advantage. 

So, how can we transform this experience into one that employees look forward to? Let’s explore more about how you can make the process of learning & development more enjoyable and valuable for your employees. 

Understanding the eLearning Burden

A frustrated employee struggling with traditional eLearning methods, surrounded by paperwork

Why does eLearning often feel like a burden to employees? 

  • Monotonous Content: Lengthy and dense information quickly drains enthusiasm, turning learning into a chore.

  • Lack of Interactivity: Sessions without quizzes, discussions, or exercises are dull and disengaging, making it hard to retain information.

  • Technical Difficulties: Navigating complicated platforms and frequent glitches frustrate even motivated employees, as highlighted in feedback surveys.

The Impact of Engaging eLearning

  • One of the primary advantages is improved retention. With interactive eLearning experiences, employees are more likely to remember and apply what they've learned. 

  • Engaging eLearning modules can ignite curiosity and interest, making employees more eager to participate, meaning better employee performance and productivity. 

  • Innovative employee training solutions allow employees to practice and refine their skills in a safe environment.

  • Moreover, engaging eLearning can foster a culture of continuous learning and development. Companies like IBM have reported a 10x return on investment in eLearning due to increased employee engagement and skill advancement.

The Google 20% Rule

The Google 20% rule is an innovative policy that allows employees to dedicate 20% of their work time to pursue projects or ideas they are passionate about, outside their regular job responsibilities. 

This policy aims to foster creativity, encourage innovation, and develop new products or solutions. Notable successes from this rule include Gmail, Google News, and AdSense, demonstrating its potential to drive significant advancements within the company.

How this rule applies to employee engagement in learning & development

  • The 20% rule provides employees the autonomy to work on projects they care about, making the learning process more relevant and less of a burden.

  • The 20% rule promotes interactive and practical learning experiences by encouraging hands-on projects, and improving engagement and retention.

  • This approach fosters creativity and innovation, aligning with training tips that emphasise the importance of engaging, meaningful, and enjoyable learning activities.

Strategies for Lightening the Load on eLearning

Employees using interactive eLearning tools in a collaborative setting

Inspired by Google’s 20% rule, here are ways to facilitate unstructured learning while mitigating potential issues.

Balance Workload and eLearning Time

  • Avoid Stress and Reduced Productivity: If an employee spends five full days on regular tasks, allocating a few hours to learning can be stressful.

  • Treat Learning as Essential: Adjust deadlines, remove less critical tasks, or hire contingent workers to handle the additional load to prioritise learning.

Foster Intrinsic Motivation

  • Encourage Skill Application: Apply new skills in current roles and consider employees for internal positions to reinforce the importance of development.

  • Recognise and Gamify: Publicly recognise accomplishments and use gamification strategies like badges and leaderboards to enhance engagement.

Cost-Effective eLearning Investment

  • Invest to Stay Competitive: Not investing in employee learning can lead to falling behind, as seen with Blockbuster and BlackBerry.

  • Encourage Passion Projects: Allowing employees to pursue passion projects during office hours can lead to groundbreaking ideas and maintain competitiveness.

Encourage Cross-Departmental Collaboration

  • Value Contributions Beyond Roles: Emphasise that contributions beyond job scope are valued to encourage idea sharing.

  • Facilitate Collaboration: Enable cross-departmental collaboration to make employees comfortable sharing innovative ideas.

Overcoming eLearning Challenges

  1. Technical Issues: Ensure robust technical support and choose platforms that are intuitive and user-friendly, while also offering sessions to help employees navigate new systems confidently.

  2. Resistance to Change: Implement communication strategies that clearly outline the benefits of learning and development programs. Demonstrate how these initiatives make jobs easier and more enjoyable through real-life examples and success stories.

  3. Quick Wins: Identify and showcase early successes from training programs. Share these wins through internal communications and meetings to motivate employees, enhance engagement, and encourage continuous participation in learning activities.

  4. Balancing Workload: Adjust deadlines, delegate less critical tasks, or hire temporary help to manage workloads so as not to let employees feel the burden of having to complete tasks while also attending learning sessions. 

A group of employees feeling productive and ready to start their eLearning session

Case Studies Of Successful eLearning Initiatives

Challenge: IBM faced low employee engagement and participation in their existing eLearning programs, which lacked interactivity and personalisation.

Solution: IBM overhauled its eLearning program by integrating interactive elements and personalised modules tailored to individual roles.

Outcome: This transformation resulted in a remarkable 10x return on investment. The interactive approach significantly boosted employee engagement, with employees more actively participating in their learning journeys. Personalised content ensured relevance, further enhancing the learning experience and outcomes.

Challenge: Deloitte needed to improve employees' practical cybersecurity skills and reduce the frequency of security incidents.

Solution: Deloitte introduced an interactive cybersecurity training program emphasising hands-on learning and real-world applications.

Outcome: The initiative led to a 40% improvement in practical cybersecurity skills among employees. Additionally, there was a notable reduction in security incidents, demonstrating the effectiveness of the training. The interactive nature of the program kept employees engaged and facilitated better retention of crucial information.


Incorporating engaging eLearning strategies not only boosts retention rates, enhances skill development, and ignites motivation but also makes learning more approachable for everyone. Through flexible schedules, interactive content, and ongoing feedback loops, the learning journey becomes more inclusive and accessible. 

It's worth noting that 94% of employees express loyalty to companies that prioritise their growth and development. By embracing these interactive eLearning experiences, organisations pave the way for a culture of continuous learning and innovation. 


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